“I try to remember my dreams but I can’t.”
The alarm rings. You fumble to shut it off as fast as possible. Do you really have to get up and leave right now, or could you afford a few more minutes in bed? You try to estimate the risks of sleeping longer. You decide you really do, indeed, have to wake up now.
Then you remember– you’re trying to keep a dream journal. “What was I just dreaming?” you ask yourself.
But it’s too late; there are no savory licks of dream-stuff left. It’s all gone away, into the aether from whence it came.
Your heart sinks with a little disappointment. You’re really trying to remember your dreams; you really want to connect more deeply with your creative unconscious; it’s just that the dreams slip away so fast before you can grab them. Now you can remember nothing from your night’s adventures and you feel a little soul-less, a little empty. What, after all, is a person without dreams?
A person without dreams is someone who succeeds at fitting in and not shaking the airplane. (I could have said “and not rocking the boat”– but what thought scares you more– a rocking boat or a shaking airplane?)
A person who doesn’t remember what he dreams is someone who is more easily roped into the counterfeit dream of the culture-at-large: the manufactured dream of constant high status, hot sex, and total security.
Have you noticed that the dream of the culture-at-large is not only unattainable, but boring? It’s not enough to fire the full range of the human imagination; it’s just enough to stoke our base cravings.
Costly, poisoned milk
A person who doesn’t remember what he dreams is someone cut off from the marrow of his own being, from the sustenance of his own life. He’s like a desperate farmer who has sold his cow and now has to buy the milk back at a steep price. And not only is the milk costly; it’s also been poisoned; it’s actually dangerous to consume.
As we settle for the mass-produced dreams of television, commercials and popular film we’re drinking poison milk. That stuff, taken as our only nourishment, makes us weaker and weaker. We notice the symptoms of what’s happening to us: we’re depressed and anxious, unfocused and miserable. But lie to ourselves about the root cause. We think that we suffer just because we don’t yet have enough status, sex, security.
We can’t even begin to imagine that our pain and our boredom and our sense of meaninglessness might have something to do with the fact that we routinely ignore the vast and beautiful productions that our soul offers us each night while we sleep; the secrets of the universe which are hand-tailored to us; the magnificent gifts that come fully-made.
Your dreams are your dreams. They are communications that have the power to awaken you. The more you ignore them, the more you ignore your own spiritual growth.
“But I’m trying to remember my dreams– I just can’t!“
This is never true.
You don’t remember your dreams because you don’t truly want to remember.
You can’t remember your dreams because you want other things much more. Why? Because you’re too heavily plugged in to the pseudo-dream: the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning is your security, your status. Do you need to get up and run? What do you need to do before you leave the house? What should you eat for breakfast? What should you wear?
You can’t remember your dreams because those thoughts are more urgent to you, more vivid and more intense than your desire to be in conscious contact with your own soul. Just admit that it’s true. You would like to remember your dreams, but frankly you’re more worried about being on time for wherever you’ve got to go.
If you want to know your soul, you have to make that knowing your priority
If you truly want to remember your dream-time escapades, you have to be willing to care more about what’s going on within you than what’s going on without you. You have to be more focussed on the world of your spiritual and emotional terrain than on the world of your oh-so-urgent duties.
This is an intense reversal. This is a taboo reversal. No one in our culture is allowed to do this– do this and you’ll become weak, lazy, worthless– or so the notion goes. I say do it and you’ll become truly awake to the weird wonder that you are. And out of this weird wonder you’ll make full, vast, and sculptured treasures. You’ll bring back incredible gifts. You’ll enrich our day-time world immensely. You’ll be a hero and you’ll have our gratitude– for you were the brave one who made the journey where we were too scared to go.
To remember your dreams, you have to decide that your dreams are more important than what anyone else thinks of you
Your first thought when you wake must be: “I am dreaming a dream. What is happening in my dream? What am I doing?” And then you offer a kind of very soft, gentle attention. You attend for some moments, laying still in the dark (so as not to disturb the swirling aether where your dream licks are laying in wait) and then once you’ve collected as much as you can, you pick up pen and paper and write what’s gone on.
You make this more important than “being where I have to be.” You make your dreams the most important thing.
Gradually, as you treat your dreams with this kind of respect, they begin to speak to you more loudly and more clearly. They begin to realize that you’re one who listens; you’re one who attends. They begin to offer the deep initiation to you, the initiation into your own transcendent power as the interdimensional creature you really are.
So make the decision right now.
Decide to dream at any cost.
It won’t hurt as much as you think, my darling.